Dryden, Virginia

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Dryden, Virginia
Nickname(s): Yokum Station
Location of Dryden, Virginia
Location of Dryden, Virginia
Coordinates: 36°46′33″N 82°56′39″W / 36.77583°N 82.94417°W / 36.77583; -82.94417Coordinates: 36°46′33″N 82°56′39″W / 36.77583°N 82.94417°W / 36.77583; -82.94417
Country United States
State Virginia
County Lee
 • Total 7.1 sq mi (18.5 km2)
 • Land 7.1 sq mi (18.5 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 1,440 ft (439 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,208
 • Density 170/sq mi (65/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 24243
Area code(s) 276
FIPS code 51-23584[1]
GNIS feature ID 1483150[2]

Dryden is a census-designated place (CDP) in Lee County, Virginia, United States. The population was 1,208 at the 2010 census.


In 1891 the L&N Railroad had completed it’s project through the area of Lee County called Kenova. Prior to the rail road’s coming there were just a few homes, a store, and one church. The store was owned and operated by Elbert Gilbert; he was Sadie Bishop’s father and the builder of the beautiful home that stands as a testament to his success as a merchant. His store opened in 1891.

Once the railroad established a depot, passenger trains began to make regular stops. It was then that the Township was formed and a new post office was developed. The post office at the time was called “Tide”. Tide being several miles away caused the folks to feel it necessary to open a new post office next to the depot. The community was named in honor of a long term resident and post master, Alfred Dryden.

With the turn-of-the-century the automobile was invented. This led to the mapping of roads. The first roads of Dryden included, Main Street (also called the Fincastle Pike), present day Orr Road, 1st Street, present day Sadie Bishop Road, 2nd Street, present day Chris Barney Road, Crossing Street, present day Possum Valley Road and Rail Road Street, present day Old Highway 58, to name a few. The Peoples Bank of Dryden flourished, as well as the Gilbert’s Mercantile, as the town grew. Finally a high school was organized in 1904 and built on land given by G.C. Jessee. Although it has been rebuilt it serves the community today as a primary school.

Like the rest of the country, Dryden was impacted by the Great Depression which began in the 1929. The Peoples Bank of Dryden closed, and merged with a bank in Pennington Gap, Virginia. There were very few new families that came into the community during that time.

New families and stores begin to spring up once again. It wasn't until afterward World War II that the town put in a city water system. During the 1970s, the community of Dryden once again grew into a thriving town. The residents of Dryden now boasted of a Cas Walker Store, Magic Mart, I.G.A., Dryden Grocery, Roller’s Store and Car Lot, Lee Bank, two rest homes, a sewing factory, and even a movie cinema. New homes and subdivisions were also developed. After several years of prosperity the economy of Dryden again began to wane. This was partially the effect of the new bypass, which was constructed during the 90s to divert traffic around the town. Today Dryden is a community reaching for growth. In 2012, the businesses of Dryden include a newly opened sewing factory, the R&R destination, new Beginnings Rehabilitation Ctr., Chestnut Grove assisted-living, and various small businesses and law offices.


  • Dryden United Methodist Church est. 1892
  • Liberty Free Will Baptist Church formerly known as Green Hill Methodist Church est. 1819
  • New Life Ministries
  • Deep Springs Baptist Church
  • Valley View Primitive Baptist Church
  • Rahoboth Baptist Church
  • Powell River Seventh-Day Adventist


R&R Service Station, Roller's Store, Orr's Store, Patio Drive In, Myers Truevalue Hardware, The Old Dryden Grocery Deli, Lee Propane, Dollar General, and Chesnut Grove ALF


Dryden is located at 36°46′33″N 82°56′39″W / 36.77583°N 82.94417°W / 36.77583; -82.94417 (36.775836, -82.944157)[3].

Dryden's southern border is the Powell River.

Notable residents[edit]

C. Bascom Slemp presidential secretary to President Calvin Coolidge,

Vincent Hobbs killed Chief Benge during an Indian raid near Norton, Virginia, Father of Captain Samuel Hobbs of 64 VA mounted infantry. CSA

Pete DeBusk founder of DeRoyal Company,

Jim Pankovits Pro Baseball player, grandson of Meda Parsons Smalley (1909-2009) who lived to be 101,


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,253 people, 453 households, and 329 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 175.9 people per square mile (67.9/km²). There were 507 housing units at an average density of 71.2/sq mi (27.5/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 98.64% White, 0.72% African American, 0.32% Native American, 0.24% Asian, and 0.08% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.16% of the population.

There were 453 households out of which 33.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.7% were married couples living together, 14.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.2% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.96.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 22.9% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 25.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 90.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $21,023, and the median income for a family was $25,806. Males had a median income of $26,250 versus $20,250 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $12,825. About 17.8% of families and 22.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.7% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.